What is life’s purpose?
Life’s purpose is what you realize you have to accomplish through this life. The one goal towards which every act of yours should take you. That which is larger than life, that which gives it meaning.
It is not the same as the work you do. Your work can change while you are still fulfilling the same purpose. It is the value you want your work to add to this world.
Here is mine : ‘Live a conscious, happy and abundant life; and help others do the same.’
Isn’t money enough?
You may say all you care about is earning a lot of money and living a life of luxury. If you can get it quick and easy, nothing’s better. I believed that when I was looking for my first job. I’ll tell you why that’s not enough.
Earning money does not guarantee happiness. I took up my first job with a big multi-national firm(in fact I worked with a smaller organization for 3 months before I got into this one). I was proud to have my name associated with a big firm and they offered good money. I was happy, I could buy branded clothes, live in a posh locality in Bangaluru. They asked me to do some software testing for the first few months. I was more interested in software development but I took it up. Who cares when you get enough money, I thought. I was wrong. Soon I got bored. In fact, after some time, I started hating going to office. This was the same office where the beautiful glass buildings had filled me with awe just a few months ago, the same office that provided me with money every month. I realized something :
If you don’t find your work interesting, you will not be happy in the long run, no matter how much money they give you for it.
I started looking for the work I would like. It took time and effort. I had to switch jobs. Before that, I had to prepare for switching jobs.
Once I got the work of my choice, the same thing happened again. I enjoyed it for only some time. In a few months, it interested me no more. I felt my work was not causing the impact I would want it to. I wanted to help people live better lives, not help Investment Bankers do better business. This time, I realized something else :
If the value you provide does not align with your purpose, you won’t be happy. You spend a lot of time at your work. It may provide you with riches but if you don’t find real meaning in it, you will not enjoy your time at work and, consequently, you will not enjoy life.
Give something of value. Right now, writing personal development articles is my primary work. Its the kind of work I like doing and it aligns with my purpose. I love it! I don’t know where time flies when I am writing an article. Its not earning me money right now, but I am not worried. I have just started and money will come as long as I keep enjoying myself.
If you find something that aligns with your purpose, you feel enthusiasm for your work. You can’t take your hands off it.
When you give something of value in return for all the riches, you find yourself deserving and feel at home with all the abundance. You tend to keep it with yourself through your positivity. If you find all the abundance, satisfy all your needs through a work that you enjoy doing and that resonates with your purpose, you find true happiness. In fact work doesn’t remain work when you love it, it becomes play. And to realize your dreams through it gives the ultimate high.
How do you find your purpose?
My ideas of finding purpose draw heavily from a book called ‘An Inside Job’ by Richard Reiger. I also found Steve Pavlina’s article on the same topic very insightful.
You find it by learning to listen to your Inner Guide. This may sound like some spiritual rambling but it works. Its in no way easy, it takes some learning to. A lot of people get so used to following the trodden path and doing what everyone around them says is right, that they forget to listen to their Inner Guide. To re-learn listening to it will take patience and courage.
To unravel your true purpose, you will have to observe what feels light and right to your heart.
- Ask yourself what is your life’s purpose. Write it down.
- Revisit it every day. This helps in keeping it strong in your heart. Does it still feel right?
- Change it to make it feel right.
This can be a life long process. It takes time to get over your inner fears. New insights will make you refine it on and on. In the beginning there will be a lot of changes. With time, changes will become less frequent and less drastic. Hang on, the rewards are a life time of purposefulness and happiness!
Don’t fret on how your purpose can ever be attained. You don’t need to know the how, your Inner Guide will take care of that. Your job is not to decide each and every step on your path to success. Your job is to remove your fears and doubts, let the Inner Guide take you to success and happiness. Don’t think that the direction in which your inner guide is leading you may not be able to sustain you financially. Just don’t let your intellect come in the way.
Have faith, its a friendly Universe.
When you try to find your purpose this way, its important to believe that this is a friendly Universe. Everyone’s Inner Guide tells them to do something different and their is abundance in the world to fulfill everyone’s dreams. Once you stick your head out of your comfort zone, you will start seeing the multitude of possibilities around you. Go, seek out the right one for you.